Gilbert Arenas Explains Why Players Feared Michael Jordan And Not LeBron James

The GOAT debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James often involves the argument of a "fear factor".

Michael Jordan is widely considered as someone who struck fear into the hearts of his opponents during his playing days.

Jordan's ability to respond to trash talk by putting up huge numbers in games is one of the reasons why he was feared.

Other NBA legends like Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Tim Duncan were not feared in the same way that Jordan was.

Kobe Bryant was also a player who was feared by opponents due to his aggressive and competitive mentality.

LeBron James is an all-around player who is not necessarily known for instilling fear in his opponents.

Gilbert Arenas claims that the source of dread is mentality. This is what he had to say about it.

“Did anyone fear Magic? No. Did anyone fear Stockton or Malone? No… No one feared Tim Duncan. Jordan was feared. Al was feared. Kobe was feared. LeBron (James) is an all-around player. I’m not afraid of a guy who’s gonna give me 29/9/9, I’m afraid of a man who’s gonna go for 60 if I’m not careful.”

The fear factor is not just about physical size, as Jordan was 6'6" and LeBron is 6'9", but about the mental game and ability to dominate in crucial moments.